President Obama Puts the Spotlight on STEM Education, Young Scientists

Neil deGrasse Tyson and DE3MYSC Winner Braeden Benedict
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium, and DE3MYSC Winner Braeden Benedict

Today I had the honor of attending the second White House Science Fair, hosted by President Barack Obama to shed light on the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and our next generation of scientists. It was an amazing experience, and not just because it was at the White House.

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Winning Team 6000 n 60 with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Winning Team 6000 n 60 with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

For several hours, students and guests were immersed in a world where Bill Nigh and Neil deGrasse Tyson are the rock stars and immediate plans for middle schoolers include obtaining patents and meeting with legislators to influence future policies. Among the 100 students from more than 45 states attending the event were winners of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge (view more pictures from today on Flickr).

The President took the opportunity to meet with several of the students (including the We Can Change the World Middle School Winners, Team 6000 n 60) before addressing an audience of science leaders, teachers, students, parents and media. Taking the time to recognize several of the budding scientists present, including one young scientist who got the news that she had won her contest as her family was living in a homeless shelter. You can read the President’s remarks online or watch the press conference below:

Congratulations to all of the students honored today!